Types of Toilets: A Complete Guide to Types of Toilets.

The type of toilet you have in your home can vary depending on what is most important to you. In order to help you make the best decision, we will explain the intricacies of all types of toilets in detail so that there are no surprises when purchasing a new toilet for your home.

Toilet Type

The first thing you should think about while deciding a toilet type is how does the toilet flush (there are few types of flushing methods too) and how does it dispose of the waste. After that, you will go through the styles of toilets available and their design that best fit your wants. 

Here are the toilet types that are available in market:

Gravity Fed Toilet

Gravity Fed Toilets are the oldest type of toilet, and it is the least expensive.  

Gravity-fed toilets have tanks that hold water in them. When the flush valve is pushed, the tank releases water into the toilet that pushes waste through and out of it. Despite being an older toilet system, they are relatively quiet when flushed.

Gravity Flush toilets are also known as low-pressure systems because there is less pressure coming from above due to gravity-induced siphoning action in which waste falls into an open drain pipe below, versus high-pressure pumps that push waste away through vertical pipes at high speeds. They work well where sewer drains cannot be

Gravity feed toilets use anywhere between 17–30 gallons (64 – 113 liters) for each flush depending on its size and level of usage.

 Flush strength Powerful using less water
 Maintenance Inexpensive, minimal, and easy

Because these toilets don’t have a lot of moving parts, maintaining them is a lot easier, and with the improving efficiency of gravity flush systems. But the downside of these toilets is that they are more prone to sweating and also underperform, despite having a powerful flush. 

Some of the brands which have gravity-fed toilets are

The two main brands of Gravity-fed toilet manufacturers in North America are Toto and Kohler.

Other popular brands are American Standard, Crane Plumbing Products Inc., Franke, Gerber Products Company Inc., Hoehn Plumbing and Heating Corporation, Mansfield Manufacturing Co. (Mansfield), Moen Incorporated, Sloan Valve Company.

Toto offers Gravity-fed toilets in their Eco Series (low water consumption) as well as the Neorest series with a litany of features for those who need an eco-toi.let that also does everything else like bidet functions or heated seats

Pressure-Assisted Toilet

These toilets use pressurized air and not just gravity to force water from their tank to push down the waste through the trapways. Because of the added pressurized force, it is louder than a gravity-fed toilet but is more efficient.

 Flush strength More powerful than gravity-fed toilet
 Maintenance More expensive and require higher maintenance than gravity-fed toilet

However, it doesn’t compromise on performance and even uses a minimal amount of water. It is also less prone to sweating, but can be more expensive to repair, and is also noisy. But clogs are forced to be pushed down which is why clogs aren’t very common occurring.

It makes it a suitable choice when used by too many people and often. American Standard Champion White Elongated Standard Height Toilet and Kohler Highline Classis are deemed to be one of the most iconic power flush toilets out there.

Dual-Flush Toilet

A dual-flush toilet is like the amalgamation of gravity-fed and pressure-assisted toilets, giving you the option to choose which flush system to use. Divided into two pushable buttons, the half-flush can be used to flush liquid waste and the full flush option flushes away the solid waste.

 Flush strength Has the option to control between the strong and mild power
 Maintenance Fairly cost

This system conserves water with the option of the full or the half flush which is why it is seen in most households nowadays.

American Standard H2Option Dual Flush Toilet, American Standard Champion 4 Bone Toilet have great is geared with dual flush technology and is proudly placed in their names too so reat be assure that they will surely do what they have claimed to do.

Waterless Toilet

These toilets aren’t commonly found in permanent homes but are found in places with no access to water or plumbing. These toilets are self-contained waterless toilets that use composting methods to get rid of the collected waste.

 Flush strength Dry Sanitation mechanism
 Maintenance Inexpensive, no risk of contamination

These toilets collect the waste material in a small compost chamber beneath the bowl and do the work itself of turning human waste into compost-like material.

Laveo™ by Dry Flush – Battery Operated or A/F Waterless Toilet from Sun-Mar could help you start if you’d like to, or are willing to try a switch. The options are available, it is just a matter of your liking.

Double-Cyclone Toilet

Double-cyclone toilets use two nozzles along the rim of the bowl unlike regular toilets to produce a powerful flush. They use a minimal amount of water but allow more water to pass through the tube.

 Flush strength Powerful using less water
 Maintenance Might be difficult to purchase replacement parts

It also creates a siphoning action using minimal water and is garnering more attention now that its efficiency is getting more better and powerful.

Toto Ultramax II, American Standard 2034.014.020 Champion-4 are some of the most sought for double0cyclone toilets which you will always be recommended if you are searching for an excelling flushing toilet with a double-cyclone toilet.

You can see that the deeper we dive into this list, the better the water-saving becomes.

Toilet Style

Now that we have gathered what types of toilets are out there, let us go through the style of toilet you can get to see. This simply means if the toilet will be in the full piece, or will it have many pieces that need to be connected first and then mounted on the wall or to the floor.

One-Piece Toilet

This toilet style comes in one single piece and is placed on top of the wax ring, which is placed over the waste pipe. It is mounted to the floor and consists of the bowl, tank, and trapway integrated.

The cleaning is easy and it is easy to install as well, as you only have to install one piece of the fixture. So. it is an easy-to-maintain type of toilet.

American Standard Fairfield One-Piece Toilet is a budget-friendly pick for 2021 according to the team of Sunrise Speciality. They also believe that American Standard One-Piece Boulevard FloWise Toilet is also a handy pick.

Two-Piece Toilet

As the name suggests, the two-piece toilet comes in two pieces that need to be connected as one to install it. These types of toilets are more common and they have the availability of the toilet tank and the toilet bowl found separately, so you could mix and match the pieces together. Which means these pieces are easier to find and replace.

These toilets are more efficient as the worn-out pieces are easily replaceable, but they require more effort to clean.

American Standard Cadet 3 Triangle Toilet is a great two-piece toilet as per the suggestions from Sunrise Speciality as well. 

Wall-Hanging Toilet

For a wall-hanging toilet, it gives off a modern finish to what is essentially a plumbing fixture. It is not very common to find a wall-hanging toilet because it requires a great deal of planning before installing it.

The flush plate is mounted to the wall and the toilet bowl hangs from the wall. It takes less space, looks more stylish, and works wonders for smaller spaces. But with it, it will be difficult to install and also difficult to clean.

American Standard and Toto wouldn’t fall short on their variety of plumbing fixtures because they bring American Standard 3447.101 and TOTO CT428CFG for their variant and sleek-looking wall-hanging toilets.

Flushing Type

As we continue to go through the list, we have reached an important part of the entire toilet-buying guide, which is the flush type. Let us dive into its types.

Single-Flush Toilet

With this type of flush, you get a full flush with the only water pressure each time. These are a no-brainer and simple single setting flush types. It has no fuss and it is the most common type with various design options available to it.

VorMax Plus Right Height Elongated Complete Toilet and The Town Square S Right Height Elongated Toilet from American Standard are some of the best-sellers when it comes to a single-flush toilet so if you think it is worth the money you pay, you should start with these toilets.

Double-Flush Toilet

Whereas, the double-flush toilet has a dual flush setting. The pressure applied on the flush is lighter for flushing down liquid waste. Half flush is used for it, and more firm pressure is applied to flush away solid waste.

A dual-flush toilet uses this flush type and is more efficient than single-flush toilets. So, they cost more on maintenance fees. Studio Dual Flush Tall Height Round-Front Toilet, as well as The Clean Dual-Flush Toilet from American Standard, are some standard toilet options if you would like to have control on a partial flush or a full flush.

There are more options out there too, we just mentioned few names that are always on the radar when trying to pick up on a powerful flush system without compromising performance.

No-Touch Flush Toilet

As the name suggests, one doesn’t have to directly touch the flush lever to flush. This makes it more hygienic to use but it isn’t usually found in regular homes. These are seen in public restrooms and also are kept for residential purposes too.

They have sensors attached usually on the top of the toilet, and one waves their hand over the sensor for the toilet to flush automatically. It uses a battery to operate and this ensures that you don’t catch germs as much as you would, using a physical flush lever.

Cadet Touchless Chair Height Elongated Toilet Less Seat,  KOHLER K-4000-47 San Souci Touchless Comfort Height 1.28 GPF Elongated Toilet with AquaPiston Flushing Technology are some no-flush technology following toilets which could help you if you want to avoid touch and have less chances of germs contaminating.

Toilet Design Options

Now that we have dealt with the type of toilet and its style, and the flushing type it can come with, we finally come to the outlook of the toilet. How does the design look and what are the options you are getting. Let’s dive in.


The standard toilet height is 15 inches which is customizable. For children, the height might need to be lessened and those who might have mobility issues can have it customized as per what is comfortable for them. Customization can be done for wall-mounted toilets too, by that we mean that the height can be changed.

Toilet dimensions also cover the seat type and the bowl height which we will talk about below.

Bowl Shape

We can find different shapes in terms of toilet bowls like the ones we’ve mentioned:

i. Elongated Bowl

These toilet bowls are oval and are more spacious and comfortable. These toilet bowls are more elongated in size (hence the name) and are about 2 inches longer than round bowls. But these toilet bowls do require more space than round-front bowls.

ii. Round-Front Bowl

Round toilet bowls take less space and even without the extra space of comfort, it is the most common type of toilet bowl used. They are relatively cheaper and are more comfortable for the kids.

iii. Compact Elongated Bowl

Once more, we find the combination of two types of toilet bowls and their functionality blended into one. A compact elongated bowl gives you the seat space of an elongated bowl in the size of a regular bowl. No wonder it is getting more and more attention from the buyers.


The color palette to choose from is limitless. You will have to talk to the owner to ask which colors are they available in. And if you find the color that can match the theme of the bathroom you’d like to make, then nothing can stop you from creating the effect you’d like.

Toilet Seat

Toilet seats are available in all sorts of materials, colors, and in different types of designs. So you can pick and choose from what feels comfortable and desirable for you. The materials vary from plastic, wood, cushioned vinyl, polypropylene.

The good thing is that toilet seats are easy to find, buy, replace and install. So it won’t be a hassle to have them if you’d prefer to use toilet seats because usually, most toilets do not come with a seat. But it is all up to the buyer’s preference.


It is advised to invest in a good quality trapway because it is a trapway that is responsible to transfer the toilet waste to the plumbing line without any trouble. That means it is also responsible to prevent clogs from occurring in the first place.

They are attached to your home’s plumbing and they do come in shapes of S on the side of the toilet, some visible and some not.

Exposed Trapway

Like we’ve mentioned already, the S-shaped on the side of the toilet that exists is visible when it is the exposed trapway you are using. You can also see the caps that keep the toilet attached to the floor as well.

Concealed Trapway

But with a concealed trapway, all you will see is a smooth surface on the side of the table. The S-shape is hidden, but you will be able to see mildly visible caps to keep the toilet attached to the floors. These bolts are not extremely visible, as they are kept a low profile.

Skirted Trapway

And finally, with a skirted trapway, there is nothing to see at all, not the bolts and not the S-shape. A skirted exterior conceals the S-shape and the blots to showcase a clean outer look.

Flush Handle

We’ve talked all about flushing types but we are yet to talk about the styles of flushes that exist, and where can you find them on the body of the toilet.

  • Located on the side – the flush button is located on the side of the toilet
  • Located on the top – found on dual-flush toilets, the flush button is located on the top of the tank
  • Located on the wall – found on the wall-mounted toilets, the flush button will be on the wall
  • No-touch – a motion sensor will be situated on the top of the toilet
  • Remote-controlled – some toilets come with a remote for flush

Anatomy of a Toilet (Diagram)

Additional Features

You should know that there are some extra features that you might keep your eye on.

Intelligent Toilet

These toilets are electronic bidet toilets that can be controlled via a remote or a control panel. They have the features of toilet seat temperature control, flush, and even keep you company by playing some music too.

Not just the temperature but they might also have the feature to clean you after you are done with your business. A new wave of possibilities has risen with toilets being intelligent to a person’s wants and needs.

Eco-Friendly Toilet

Eco-friendly toilets, as per their name have a great emphasis on being friendly to the environment. If the toilets we’ve discussed till now talked about using more force exerted to ensure more water pressure, this toilet goes the other way around with it.

It restricts the amount of water the toilet can use with each flush. So water wastage is bid goodbye along with the flushed down waste.


Even though urinals aren’t used as much in homes, we just wanted to let you know that these options still very much exist, if you’d ever change your mind. So, of course, an additional fixture will require a bit more space, just keep in mind that if this is going to be an addition to your already existing bathroom scenario.


A bidet is a plumbing fixture, which helps you clean yourself after using the toilet. Sometimes it is used in place of toilet paper and other times it is together with one. If you’d ever like to indulge in a bidet, it is nice to know that some of them come built-in with some toilets. Others might need to be attached. They are gaining quite a bit of popularity, in North America as well.

More Details

Just a few more things before we wrap up.


Installation depends on what type of toilet you are buying. You can always take the help of a professional; this step is advisable especially if you have never done this before.

The two-piece toilets need to be assembled and then installed, whereas the one-piece toilet is always ready to go. The latter will be easier to install but the wall-mounted toilets are highly recommended to be installed by a professional only.

Trying to install the wall-mounted toilet will be the most complicated out of these three because we are talking about placing an entire tank behind the wall here. So, it would be best to get a professional to get this step safely done.

Room and Location

This step shouldn’t be neglected because once the toilet is installed, it will be difficult to do some furnishing afterward so it is advised to take note of how many inches of free space should be considered in front of the toilet and from the center of the toilet to each side before a wall.

Not just that, but how close or far do you want it to be to sink, or the bathtub or shower. And of course, if you’d like, you could make it fit the theme that you want for space. You might have to think many times before finalizing the location of your toilet space because the outlook and design at the end rely on the space that the room entirely has.

Other Factors

You should keep in mind who will be using the toilet regularly.  If little children will be using the toilet more, then the height of the toilet will need customization for them. And if someone with mobility problems or a disability will be using it, then you might consider adding some safety features to the toilet.

The height could be adjusted, or safety rails could be added around the toilet to help them as well. And even if you didn’t need to consider these factors, you could also consider the fact that toilet height or seats are adjustable anyways just in case you’d like something extra for yourself.

Cost and Budget

With all the feasibility and options, the toilet budget can go as high as $900 and more, and as low as $100.

HomeAdvisor states that it costs around $372, with most people paying between $224 and $531 depending on the type of toilet and how difficult it is to install the toilet this year in 2021.

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